News Letters

Coronavirus Update -24th March 2020

Dear Parishoners of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s

After the announcement of immediate and dramatic restrictions on the movements of all citizens of our countries by the Prime Minister, I am writing this note to you to underline one or two very important points.

Our two churches were closed for worship and visitors last Friday night. All churches have now been ordered to close with immediate effect. I am hoping that it will still be possible for me to celebrate Mass privately as I have done for the last few days.

Much has been taken away from us for the sake of the common good. We are left with prayer and charity to those with whom we live. Let us join the national effort to comply with what is being asked of us so that, with God’s help, we can arrive at brighter and happier times.

With an assurance of my prayers,

Fr John

 

Closure of Churches – Clarification by Liverpool Archdiocese

Following the instruction that the Prime Minister gave last night, there has been an inconsistent message from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding the opening of churches. In the published guidelines, it states that “places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer.”

The instruction is very clear on the occasions when someone can leave home:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.None of these four specific reasons for leaving home concurs with the visiting of a church for solitary prayer. In addition, keeping churches open could undermine the desire of the Government for people to remain at home, the very fact of them being open may draw people out of their homes, many of which would be the most vulnerable to infection.

 

 

Coronavirus Update -20th March 2020

Dear Parishoners of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s

As the cessation of public Masses and worship formally begins across our country, some of us may be wondering what will happen to our church buildings. Do they just get put into mothballs? Do they just become a museum? Certainly, they are no longer, for the foreseeable future, places where people can gather for public worship. However, they remain houses of prayer. I will be celebrating Mass in both our churches throughout the crisis that is now upon us. This will be done by myself, behind closed doors. But I shall be remembering at the Altar, each and every member of our parish communities.

Likewise, the Blessed Sacrament will remain in the tabernacles of both our churches throughout this crisis. This reminds us that the Lord remains with us even in the darkest days. Perhaps, as you pass our churches, you might whisper a prayer to the Lord who is sacramentally present there.

Let us take heart now and entrust ourselves to the Lord. Let us reach out to those we know who are in need, by phone or e mail, to offer comfort and encouragement.

Finally, let me urge everyone to follow the advice of the public health authorities very carefully. In this way, we show charity to our vulnerable brothers and sisters by shielding them from possible infection.

With an assurance of my prayers,

God bless you,

Fr. John

 

 

Coronavirus Update, 18th March 2020

Dear Parishioners of St Anne’s and St Jerome’s

During the celebration of our Masses last weekend, I spoke of impending changes to the way we worship. Those changes have just been announced by the Catholic bishops of England and Wales. All public worship in our churches must now cease. This new arrangement will continue until further notice. The rapidly falling number of those attending our Masses and services in the past few days have shown that people have already made these difficult decisions themselves.

How are we to face these difficult days? Last weekend, I asked all those at Mass to create some space and quiet for prayer at home. Liturgical celebrations are no longer our focus for the foreseeable future. The Lord is very close to each one of us at this time.

We must now turn our attention to the elderly and vulnerable. We all know at least some people who are going to be very vulnerable in the weeks ahead. The parish administrator will shortly send an e mail to all whose email address we have, to ask people to form small groups (by email or phone) in different parts of the parishes to locate those most in need. He will also be sending links to spiritual resources and live stream Masses and services.

If anyone has any particular concerns, or need help in any way, please do not hesitate to contact the parish office by phone or by email on the following:

01704 872467

stjeromeandstanne@rcaolp.co.uk

The parish website can be found here;

www.stjeromeandstanne.org

The parish phone and e mails are checked regularly throughout the day.

Let us pray for each other and take care to follow the advice given to us by the authorities. Above all, let us place our trust in the Lord who never abandons His people.

St Jerome and St Anne, pray for us.

God bless you,

Father John

Additional Resources During this time of church closures:-

You may wish to access daily Holy Mass online. Please see the below link contained on “The Word on Fire’ website headed by Bishop Robert Barron who was keynote speaker at ‘Adoremus 2018’

Word on Fire Daily Mass

You may if you wish reflect on the Stations of the Cross using the below link

Stations of the Cross | Bishop Robert Barron

A PRAYER IN TIME OF DANGER AND ILLNESS.

God Our Father,
each person is precious to You.
You are the Giver of life.
Have mercy on us and protect us
at this time, as the Coronavirus
threatens health and life.
You are an ever-present Helper
in time of trouble.
Watch over those who are
suffering, give strength to those
who are aiding the Sick and give courage to all in this time of anxiety.
We ask this of you in the name of your Son Jesus Christ.

AMEN.